My client publishes 7 industry directories. The website has pages that are common to all of them such as the product page which explains the different formats. It then has a section for each industry.
There's a sidebar on every page of the site that contains a menu with links to the industry sections. The client updates their own text (using Adobe Contribute) and I am seeing an increasing number of phrases similar to "Click on an industry directory link on the top left to...".
Aside from the fact that that is really bad for accessibility, it feels wrong to me to tell the user to go somewhere else on the page and click the link there. But it would be ugly and not very maintainable to duplicate the list of links in context every time.
The Problem (in my mind)
- the "click on ..." phrase is too wordy
- depending on device, links may not be located on the left or the top
- it's confusing or completely inaccessible to screen readers, keyboard users, mobile/tablet users
- the fact that someone thinks the explanation is needed illustrates a flaw
- the choices can't be added directly in context because of space issues, redundancy, and maintainability (the list of industries changes fairly often)
Here's a screenshot of a mock up. There are two places on this page, indicated by the red arrows, that direct the user to use the links on the left. All the pages in the top and bottom menus are for generic pages. The industry pages include some deeper links in context.
What's the best way to direct the user from a generic page to an industry-specific page without repeating the choices in context?